Friday, January 13, 2012


"It is better to burn out than fade away." - Neil Young

Any meathead rock critic will tell you that Neil was wrong - that it is NOT better to burn out. Well, of course not! Because if a rock star burns out, and doesn't record any more, said rock critics would actually have to do their job and search out good NEW records by NEW artists for the masses to try out instead of slavishly drooling over the latest release by a should-really-have-quit-a-long-time-ago "classic rock" star who only made said record for the money so he could buy more coke and pop Viagra like they're Chicklets in yet one more attempt to hold on to his youth.

I mean, let's be honest here - can anyone name ONE great song by the Rolling Stones from the last ten years?? Does anyone really think that Robert Plant made some kind of artistic leap with that stupid album he did with Alison Krauss? I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think anyone's sitting around, jonesing for the day when the next album by Crosby, Stills and Nash will come out (except maybe David Geffen).

Lenny Bruce said it best - "there's nothing sadder than an old hipster." Hell, Steven Tyler's spent the last 10 years proving that - and he wasn't that much of a hipster in the first place. Mike Love and Brian Wilson are now going to tour as The Beach Boys for the band's fiftieth anniversary (let's read that again - fiftieth anniversary), so we'll get to see two doddering old men in front of a bunch of nameless, faceless session guys. And John Stamos, if we're lucky.

The harsh truth is this - rock and roll is a young man's game. Roger Daltrey sang "hope I die before I get old" in 1966, and if he had jumped into a time machine right after recording that and witnessed the performance he and Pete Townshend gave at the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, he'd have offed himself right there and then. Don't believe me? Look at the idol worship that gets afforded to rockers who died young - Hendrix, Cobain, Joplin, Morrison, Brian Jones, Buddy Holly, even Eddie Cochran - and ask yourself, are they REALLY any better than any rocker who lived to tell the tale? Well, maybe Hendrix.....but the point is, the dead ones didn't have a chance to go downhill, because, even though they had no choice, they got out of the game early.

Let's imagine that they never died.....

2012. The new Eric Clapton/Jimi Hendrix duet blues album is released. Dave Marsh IMMEDIATELY gives it five stars, despite the fact that he didn't even get his review copy yet. "Classic Rock" radio talks about it constantly (though you'd be hard-pressed to actually hear them play a cut off of it). They do a 15-city tour, sponsored by Budweiser (the king of horrid beers) - tickets start at $850.00 for nosebleed seats, so floor seats at 5 grand is a relative bargain. You'd get a much better bargain across town, where the Jim Morrison Doors Experience is playing. Tickets start at $150.00, because you never know if Jim is going to show up. He's been in and out of rehab more than Lindsay Lohan. He's bald, and what little hair is left has turned white. He's also fat, but still insists on wearing those leather pants - they're custom made, 'cause you can't buy leather pants with a size 48 waist off the rack. Oh, and Ray Manzarek's with him on this tour - as he is on every tour. Last concert, in Akron, OH, Jim vomited all over the stage - Ray told the press, "you don't understand - this was a poetic gesture by Jim for his followers." Robbie Krieger and John Densmore wisely stayed away. Kurt Cobain's suicide attempts are really getting boring, as are his cover stories for People magazine ("life is so good now, I really want to live!!!"). Janis Joplin is also in People this week, talking about her happiness with new life partner, Amy Winehouse. They're touring this summer (sponsored by AA), though neither one of them has put out a record in years. Brian Jones is the subject of an article in the London Daily Mirror, called "Why, After 40 Years, Won't Mick and Keith Talk to Me??? Waaaaah!!" He's living on the dole, but is recording a new album, produced by Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. Buddy Holly, as administrator of Buddy Holly/Warner/Elektra/Asylum/Atlantic Music Publishing, LLC, has just bought the entire Beatles song catalog and is licensing "Fixing A Hole" to Home Depot for use in their commercials. Eddie Cochran works for Buddy these days, since the divorce from Sharon Sheeley left him with nothing. He's got a new album out with Brian Setzer called "Two Old Stray Cats In Heat". Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker are suing.......

That's why I like a group that knows how to get in and get out. Like the Boys Blue. This group made ONE single for England's His Master's Voice label in 1964 - "Take A Heart"/"You Got What I Want" - that got a US release on ABC-Paramount in early 1965. They should have been at least as big as the Pretty Things. Lead singer Jeff Elroy looked like the bastard son of Arthur Lee and Johnny Mathis, the music was tight, jagged guitars, MURDEROUS drums and bass - these guys had it all. I have no idea why they imploded after just one single (well, two, if you count Jeff Elroy's solo single credited to "Jeff Elroy and The Boys Blue"), but one clue might be their producer, Miki Dallon. Dallon wrote both sides of the single, put it out, then almost immediately gave the songs to another group he was producing - The Sorrows. The Sorrows' version of "Take A Heart" became a hit, and Dallon focused all his attention on them. I could be wrong, though....anybody out there know the real story?

Anyway, this is one killer 45. I used to see this all over the place, now not so much. Track it down, pay the price, because you'll play both sides of this one to death! Plus, you won't have to pay $250.00 for nosebleed seats!

Click here for videos of the Boys Blue, and you can hear "Take A Heart" there, too!

Boys Blue - You Got What I Want (ABC-Paramount 10658) - 1965

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